Like most industries in our society, the hip-hop industry has taken a significant hit during the COVID-19 pandemic. It stands to reason that emcees, producers and engineers can’t convene in studios to record without fears of transmitting or contracting the virus. Across the music industry as a whole, shows have been shut down until the unknown date in the future when the coronavirus is under control or eradicated. Nevertheless, the number of rap dreams is still high with folks all over the world working towards getting their names mentioned in the same breath as the Drakes, J. Coles, Kendrick Lamars and Cardi Bs of the world and matching pockets.
One outfit making moves to make a new crop of stars is Boss Baby Entertainment. The collective is cultivating and promoting work by artists coming out of the Bronx and Harlem. Artists like Tykeiya and Bria Ford make the label look and sound good in their quest to be the big thing out of New York City. Another artist on the roster with brand new material in the world is Buttah B. NOVA who reps 172nd & Vyse Avenue in the Bronx. In fact, the NOVA in Buttah Beezly’s name is an acronym for his home team that stands for “Niggas On Vyse Avenue.” Years ago, Buttah B. NOVA wasn’t focused on music and was heavy in the streets. He had to sit down for spells following convictions for robbery and drugs. Though those days are behind him and he’s focused 100% on the music, he infuses tracks with his and others’ experiences living the lifestyle he lived through. The booth has served as a therapist of sorts for Buttah Beezly, since he’s able to share what’s on his mind and in his heart thee way he wants to.
We sat down for an exclusive interview with Buttah B. NOVA for a little more on his background, career and aspirations. Check out what he had to say below:
Don Diva: What was life like for you coming up in the South Bronx?
Buttah B. NOVA: It’s the regular. I basically tell my story through my music. It was regular. The average young black male growing up in South Bronx. Everything you hear in the news, everything you see on the TV is our reality.
DD: How did you get into making music?
BBN: I basically started doing it just for fun. And then I just noticed I was getting better at it and I said I’m going to take it serious. But when I was 11 years old, I recorded my first song with my older brother.
DD: Who are some of your influences?
BBN: Overall speaking about all rappers, I’ll say Jay, Big, Nas, those are my inspirations because those are all people that came from where I came from, NYCHA housing. They made it big, especially Jay-Z, knowing that now he’s a billionaire. He came from NYCHA housing, I came from the project. If he could do it, I could do it. Those are my inspiration. But we’re in a game right now that inspire me? You have The Migos, Money Bagg Yo, Lil Baby. I like the fact that they like to do things as a team. That’s what I want. I want my whole team, not just me. Those are my inspirations.
DD: You put NOVA in your name; Niggas on Vyse Avenue. Can you talk about Vice Avenue a little bit? Why is it so special to you?
BBN: It’s the energy. As I said, I look up to the niggaz and the way they do things as a team. I feel like my block, we do things as a team. So, it’s not just a block, it’s not a gang, it’s a family. We do things as a team. One man down, help the next.
When we created NOVA, Super NOVA Block, the Nov, we started doing that. I felt it was something the whole world should know about. That’s what’s so special. The whole world’s got to know about it. We’ve got to tell them our stories.
DD: If somebody listen to your music, what can they expect in your songs?
BBN: I will give them the truth, the heart, straight from the gutter. They’re going to hear everything. What you see in the news is what you’re going to hear. I will tell you the stories that other people can’t tell you. The violence, the getting money, the having nothing, I’ll tell you everything. The whole pain of being in the streets.
DD: Can you speak on your time on the street a little bit? How did that shape you into who you are today?
BBN: You learn from your mistakes. So I was in the street hardcore, not taking music seriously. And I had a little timeout. I got put on vacation for two years. So when I was on two years vacation, all I said was I could tell everybody my story. They’re going to want to listen to this. And I can tell my story. I can tell everybody’s story that I met behind these walls. I could tell the stories of people that are outside. That’s what got me on my ground.
DD: What can your fans look forward to from you in the near future?
BBN: Right now, I’m working on a project called It Ain’t Easy Being Beezly, and I have features from Vado, Mally G, and a few others. I have a video dropping with me featuring Vado, called “What We Want.” That should be dropping in the next week and a half, and then there’s more to come. My team and I are building this from the ground up, so we’re trying to make it pop. We already have a video out right now on YouTube, “Buttah Beezly Reloaded.” You can take that out on the Boss Baby Entertainment YouTube page. Subscribe and Like. We have a video out and we’ve got another one coming out. We’ve got a project coming and everything’s going to be streaming on all platforms.
DD: Besides Vado, have you worked with anybody else people would know?
BBN: We’ve worked with Mally G from Brooklyn, we’ve worked with Cory Gunz. He’s from our block. He’s from 174th while I’m from 172nd. So that’s my brother. We have a few more other features coming in. We’re trying to get Dave East on a project. So we’ve got a couple more of features that we’re looking to reach out to and work with other artists.
DD: If money wasn’t an issue, who in the game would you want to work with the most?
BBN: Jay-Z, without a question. Not even second-guessing it. Can you see how fast I answered that for you? I wouldn’t even question it, Jay-Z. That man is a genius.
DD: When it’s all said and done, what do you want your career to be? What do you want people to say about Buttah Beezly?
BBN: I want the people to know that the music is not done for the money. The music is done because this is really what I feel like. I need everybody to feel what I feel. We don’t have anybody to talk to. I want everybody to hear what I’m saying. My doctor that I have to see is my microphone. So when I’m in that booth, I’m spilling it out. I’m telling you the truth. You’re going to feel the pain, you’re going to feel the happiness. Whatever the song is about, you’re going to feel it.